Screwball

List and ratings taken from the book Screwball: Hollywood's Madcap Romantic Comedies by Ed Sikov.
#1-40 Classic: don't miss it.
#41-66 Respectable: not first-rate, but not worth ignoring, either.
#67-79 For Film Buffs Only: rough going for the average viewer.
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1.
After the Thin Man (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family. (112 mins.)
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
 
2.
The Awful Truth (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance. (91 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
3.
Ball of Fire (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer avoid police and escape from the Mob. (111 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
4.
Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The daughter of a penniless marquis teaches her multi-millionaire fianc a lesson, after learning he has had 7 previous wives. (85 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
5.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby. (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
6.
Design for Living (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship. (91 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
7.
Easy Living (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought... (88 mins.)
Director: Mitchell Leisen
 
8.
The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Screwball comedy has wealthy mystery writer Paula Bradford using her doctor ex-husband's non-payment of alimony to coerce him into a reconciliation. (82 mins.)
Director: Stephen Roberts
 
9.
The Front Page (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job... (101 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
10.
The Good Fairy (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A naive girl just out of a cloistered orphanage finds that being a 'good fairy' to strangers makes life awfully complicated. (98 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
11.
Hands Across the Table (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A loafer and a manicurist, both planning to marry money, meet and form an uneasy alliance. (80 mins.)
Director: Mitchell Leisen
 
12.
His Girl Friday (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
13.
Holiday (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiance's eccentric sister and long suffering brother. (95 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
14.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
15.
It's Love I'm After (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover. (90 mins.)
Director: Archie L. Mayo
 
16.
It's a Wonderful World (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer... (86 mins.)
 
17.
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures... (105 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
18.
Jimmy the Gent (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unpolished racketeer, whose racket is finding heirs for unclaimed fortunes, affects ethics and tea-drinking manners to win back the sweetheart who now works for his seemingly upright competitor. (67 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
19.
The Lady Eve (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, till one of them falls in love with him. (94 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
20.
Love Crazy (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A series of misunderstandings on their fourth wedding anniversary lead an architect and his wife to break up, but he pretends to be insane and even poses as his own sister in order to win her back. (99 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
 
21.
The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong. (80 mins.)
Director: Leigh Jason
 
22.
The Major and the Minor (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth. (100 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
23.
Midnight (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A chorus girl, stranded in Paris, is "set up" by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man. (94 mins.)
Director: Mitchell Leisen
 
24.
Monkey Business (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A chemist finds his personal and professional life turned upside down when one of his chimpanzees finds the fountain of youth. (97 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
25.
The Moon's Our Home (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(80 mins.)
 
26.
The More the Merrier (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
During the WW2 housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two. (104 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
27.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Not a typical Hitchcock movie, this is a comedy about a couple who learn that their marriage was not valid. (95 mins.)
 
28.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers. (115 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
29.
My Favorite Wife (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage. (88 mins.)
Director: Garson Kanin
 
30.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye. (94 mins.)
Director: Gregory La Cava
 
31.
Nothing Sacred (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace... (77 mins.)
 
32.
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire. (88 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
33.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. (112 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
34.
That Uncertain Feeling (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Against her better judgement, happily married Jill Baker is persuaded to see a popular psychoanalyst about her psychosomatic hiccups... (84 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
35.
Theodora Goes Wild (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The author of a scandalously racy best-selling book tries to hide her celebrity from her provincial small town neighbors who'd be scandalized if they knew. (94 mins.)
 
36.
The Thin Man (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Nick and Nora Charles, a former detective and his rich, playful wife, investigate a murder case mostly for the fun of it. (91 mins.)
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
 
37.
Topper (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs. (97 mins.)
 
38.
Twentieth Century (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A flamboyant Broadway impresario who has fallen on hard times tries to get his former lover, now a Hollywood diva, to return and resurrect his failing career. (91 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
39.
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Set to music, a symphony conductor envisions multiple possible scenarios for dealing with his wife's infidelity. (105 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
40.
You Can't Take It with You (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family. (126 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
41.
The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Kenny Williams, a lieutenant on the homicide squad, is engaged to Maxine Carroll, the Mayor's secretary... (80 mins.)
Director: Alexander Hall
 
42.
Another Thin Man (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in Nick and Nora (with new baby) to sort things out. (103 mins.)
 
43.
Bachelor Mother (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling... (82 mins.)
Director: Garson Kanin
 
44.
Breakfast for Two (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Texan debutante Valentine Ransome tries to reform a bankrupt playboy. (67 mins.)
Director: Alfred Santell
 
45.
Cafe Society (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
(83 mins.)
 
46.
Double Wedding (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two sisters of differing temperaments, the younger's milquetoast fianc, and a free spirited artist in an auto trailer have romantic complications in this screwball comedy. (87 mins.)
Director: Richard Thorpe
 
47.
5th Ave Girl (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Rich industrialist Walter Connolly feels unwanted by his wife and children so he hires unemployed Ginger Rogers to pose as his mistress. (83 mins.)
Director: Gregory La Cava
 
48.
The Girl from Missouri (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Chorus girl Eadie is determined to marry a millionaire without sacrificing her virtue. (75 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
 
49.
Having Wonderful Time (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Ginger Rogers, a bored New York office girl, goes to a camp in the Catskill Mountains for rest and finds Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (70 mins.)
Director: Alfred Santell
 
50.
Hired Wife (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Cement company CEO Stephen Dexter asks his secretary Kendall to marry him as a wife in name only, an... (96 mins.)
 
51.
I Love You Again (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Boring businessman Larry Wilson recovers from amnesia and discovers he's really a con man...and loves his soon-to-be-ex wife. (99 mins.)
 
52.
I Met Him in Paris (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Kay Denham, romanced in Paris by friends Gene and George, can't figure out why George disapproves of Gene. (86 mins.)
Director: Wesley Ruggles
 
53.
Libeled Lady (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A newspaper man, his jilted fiance, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news-story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel. (98 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
 
54.
No Time for Comedy (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Playwright Gaylord Esterbrook scores a hit with his first Broadway play, both with the critics and with leading lady Linda Paige... (93 mins.)
 
55.
The Princess Comes Across (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A woman pretends to be royalty in order to get aboard a cruise ship. (76 mins.)
 
56.
The Richest Girl in the World (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Dorothy Hunter is an heiress of untold wealth. She believes no one will love her for herself and not for her money... (76 mins.)
 
57.
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Nick and Nora are at their wise-cracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race-track. (97 mins.)
 
58.
Song of the Thin Man (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Nick, Nora, and Nick Jr. investigate the murder of a band leader in New York. (86 mins.)
Director: Edward Buzzell
 
59.
Take a Letter, Darling (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A struggling painter takes a job as a secretary to a female advertising executive. While working to obtain an account from a tobacco company... (92 mins.)
Director: Mitchell Leisen
 
60.
The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Nick and Nora go on holiday, and end up involved in a murder. (100 mins.)
Director: Richard Thorpe
 
61.
Three Blind Mice (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Three sisters take their small inheritance and move from Kansas to California in search of rich husbands... (75 mins.)
 
62.
Tom Dick and Harry (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Working girl Janie is proposed to by a conservative car salesman, a bohemian auto mechanic, and a millionaire playboy and must make a choice. (87 mins.)
Director: Garson Kanin
 
63.
Too Many Husbands (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Long-missing Bill Cardew returns to find his wife Vicky re-married... and in no hurry to settle for just one husband. (81 mins.)
Director: Wesley Ruggles
 
64.
True Confession (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Helen and Ken are a pretty strange couple. She is a pathological liar, and he is a scrupulously honest (and therefore unsuccessful) lawyer... (85 mins.)
Director: Wesley Ruggles
 
65.
Vivacious Lady (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
On a quick trip to the city, young university professor Peter Morgan falls in love with nightclub performer... (90 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
66.
The Young in Heart (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her. (90 mins.)
Director: Richard Wallace
 
67.
The Affairs of Annabel (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Wonder Pictures' seedy publicity man Lanny Morgan has put the studio's biggest star, Annabel Allison... (68 mins.)
Director: Ben Stoloff
 
68.
The Bride Walks Out (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Extremely proud, Michael Martin made fashion model Carolyn quit her job, after their marriage. Carolyn quickly, quietly and secretly did get another job, when she realizes Michael cannot successfully make their financial ends meet, alone. (75 mins.)
Director: Leigh Jason
 
69.
Eternally Yours (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Anita Halstead, swept off her feet by magician Arturo, finds the results less than magical. (95 mins.)
Director: Tay Garnett
 
70.
A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Steve is a shy quiet man who is an executive for a shipping firm. He meets Dot at the Opera where she... (90 mins.)
Director: Richard Wallace
 
71.
Joy of Living (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Broadway star Margaret Garrett has spent her whole life working to support her sponging relatives. When she meets carefree Dan Webster... (91 mins.)
Director: Tay Garnett
 
72.
Love Is News (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Financier's daughter spars with newspaper reporter: he by writing about her, she by announcing their engagement. (77 mins.)
Director: Tay Garnett
 
73.
Love on the Run (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A runaway bride and an undercover reporter get caught up in political intrigue as they lead a merry chase across Europe and uncover a spy plot. (80 mins.)
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
 
74.
Mr. and Mrs. North (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Jerry North (William Post Jr.) and his wife, Pam (Gracie Allen)return home after a night away in a holiday spirit... (67 mins.)
 
75.
Public Deb No. 1 (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a waiter gives a society girl a public spanking for attending a Communist rally, her soup-tycoon uncle makes the waiter a vice-president of his company. (79 mins.)
Director: Gregory Ratoff
 
76.
Red Salute (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The rebellious daughter of an army general gets involved with a Communist agitator, mainly to annoy her father... (80 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lanfield
 
77.
Second Honeymoon (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Newly remarried woman finds her businessman husband boring and runs into her wealthy playboy first husband. (84 mins.)
Director: Walter Lang
 
78.
Turnabout (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Bickering husband and wife Tim and Sally Willows mutter a few angry words to a statue of Buddha and wind up living each other's life. (83 mins.)
Director: Hal Roach
 
79.
Wedding Present (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When Charlie Mason is promoted from irresponsible reporter to hard-nosed city editor, it costs him his girlfriend, ace reporter Rusty Fleming. After he hears she's engaged to another, he quits and tries to win her back. (81 mins.)
Director: Richard Wallace